In English it is not necessary to always repeat the subject pronoun before each verb:

I would go to the market, look at the clothes, and then buy a coffee.

In French can one also leave out the subject pronoun?

J'allais au marché, regardais des vêtements, puis achetais un café.

  • 2
    Yes, you can omit the subject. Using this tense sounds a bit weird though. I would opt either for the passé composé or passé simple, since the imparfait is often understood as continuous.
    – Jerry
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


Neither are wrong, you can either repeat it or omit it.

However, the version without the repeated pronoun will sound a lot more formal or literary. It's more something you'll read in a book. In casual oral context, it would sound strange, as the pronoun tends to always be repeated.

> book version (I switched to passé simple because your use of imparfait was a bit out of place here, like Jerry said in his insightful comment)

J'allai au marché, regardai des vêtements, puis achetai un café.

> a possible casual version (same remark for imparfait, but passé simple is almost never employed orally, rather passé composé)

Je suis allé au marché, j'ai regardé des fringues, et j'ai acheté un café.

  • 4
    I'm far from sure that the imparfait wasn't the correct translation: like I would go, it gives me the impression of an habit, while the passé simple or the passé composé would be better for a specific time. And like I would go, the sentence would feel more complete if it started with Every Saturday or Tous les samedi. Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 8:00
  • 1
    You're probably right, I didn't pay enough attention to the I would part, which was in some way a minor aspect here, not the real question. Good point, though. Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 10:23
  • 1
    "Je suis allé au marché, j'ai regardé des fringues, et j'ai acheté un café." - I'd go for this.
    – Martin
    Commented Jun 3, 2013 at 21:38

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